The first wine of the evening is a 2010 vintage M Chapoutier Ermitage de l’Oree Blanc, from the Rhône valley in France, and I immediately detect a contrast in the audience reaction.

For some, its name means something. For others, it is but one more unpronounceable French wine.

I do know that the base grape of this white wine is Marsanne, not the usual Sauvignon blanc or Chardonnay: a hot-weather grape, like Rousanne and Moscato, that would do well in India were it not prone to rot.

I am at the 100-Point wine dinner of The Wine Connoisseurs (TWC), a group of wine geeks that is far less pretentious than its name suggests.

Devesh Agarwal, the founder of the group, says planning the dinner took a year, driven as it was by logistics, diversity of regions, and cost. Most of the top wines come from France: the regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The simplest thing to do for such a dinner would be to source wines from there. Instead, the final list included Australia, Spain, Portugal and Napa Valley (California). “Sourcing these wines was a huge planning exercise,” says Agarwal. “Who was going where? Who had access to cellars abroad? Who was travelling through Dubai Duty Free, where Le Clos sells great wines? Things like that.”

“The drinking age of the wines was a factor too,” says Chetan Kamani, a co-founder. “And we sourced the wines well. We paid less than the price of these wines on”

Photos here

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